Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Balancing competing interests

I think one of the toughest times that I face is when my wife and my child both have competing interests and each one asks me to help them.
This happened tonight. My wife was sick and my 5 year old wanted to sleep in mommy's bed. Jenn need to get some rest and that was not going to happen with Mia rolling on her.
Jenn began issuing consequences, but Mia just dug in deeper and began grunting and screaming. Mia wanted me to let her stay, Jenny needed her out. The clock was ticking, because everyone's patience was wearing thin.
"Mia, you can sleep on my side of the bed or on the Dave bed." (The day bed has been nicknamed the Dave bed.)
"Arrrrgggg, I need to think." Grunted Mia, barely audible.
"You need to think?" I confirmed.
Another grunt.
"Think quickly, because mommy needs to sleep."
Mia sat sucking her thumb.
"What is your decision?" I asked.
More incoherent grunting mixed with "I need to think!"
"Can I carry you to your decision?" I suggested.
Mia flung out her arms and allowed me to pick her up. I began to play "Am I getting hotter or colder." I moved to one area of the room, and then another. As it turned out she decided to go to her brother's room. I never would have suspected that she wanted to sleep there. It's freezing in there:)
I chalked this up to another win-win outcome. I was able to maintain my patience by connecting with my breath and realizing that the needs of my wife and child were both important. I was thankful that I was able to keep my cool while keeping the threats and consequences to a minimum.

No comments: